Midwest Wins Intersectionals; Barte Receives WTA Wild Card: Farah Through to Semis in Bogota; Blake Practices at Ole Miss
The 16-and-under USTA Team Intersectionals wrapped up on Thursday, with the Midwest section's boys and girls beating the Southern section's 6-3 in Shreveport, Louisiana. Southern had won three straight titles, and last year blanked the Midwest, but a sweep of the doubles after a split of the six singles matches gave the Midwest team its revenge. Brooke Austin and Kyle McPhillips led the way, winning all four matches they competed in. The Shreveport Times always does an excellent job covering the event, with daily stories throughout the tournament. For their article on the final and the photo galleries from the tournament, click here. For the final results, click here. The tournament's TennisLink site is here.
The Bank of the West Classic at Stanford announced its wild cards today, with Stanford's Hilary Barte receiving a main draw wild card. Barte, who lost today in the Atlanta Pro Circuit tournament to Georgia Tech's Irina Falconi, is in elite company. The other three main draw wild cards went to Dinara Safina, Ana Ivanovic and Victoria Azarenka. Those given qualifying wild cards are CoCo Vandeweghe, Tammy Hendler and Stanford incoming freshmen Nicole Gibbs and Kristie Ahn. For the complete release, click here.
Robert Farah, the recent USC graduate, has reached the semifinals of the $125,000 Challenger in his home country, Colombia. A wild card, Farah beat Giovanni Lapentti of Ecuador, Paul Capdeville of Chile and Alejandro Gonzalez of Colombia, all in straight sets, to reach the semifinals. There he'll meet doubles partner Juan Sebastian Cabal, who dealt Farah the only loss of his brief professional career last month in a Venezuela Futures event. Complete draws can be found at the ATP website.
In addition to Falconi, Allie Will, the Florida sophomore, and 15-year-old Madison Keys have reached the Atlanta semifinals. Will plays top seed Julia Glushko of Israel, while Keys and Falconi will decide the other finalist. Glushko and Notre Dame's Kristy Frilling are in the doubles final against Falconi and Maria Sanchez of USC.
In Peoria, Andrea Collarini has reached the semifinals in singles, while Sekou Bangoura and Jack Sock are in the doubles final.
For draws and results, see the Pro Circuit results page at usta.com.
James Blake is playing the upcoming ATP event in Atlanta, and while in Oxford, Miss. for a friend's wedding, he practiced at Ole Miss. The Oxford Eagle filed this account, with video, and the Ole Miss athletic website had a photo and a brief story.
The tournament to decide the men's qualifying wild card at the US Open begins next Thursday in conjunction with the Atlanta event. The USTA website did a preview (I noticed an error, as Blake Strode also played in the USO qualifying draw last year) and also posted a "getting to know" piece that reveals that Nolan Paige will not be playing, with New England finalist Brandon Wai taking his place. Paige is the No. 1 seed in the 16s Clay Courts, which begin, for him, on Monday, so I presume he had to choose between the two.